NY Times Article: Destination: Wellness – Not so Flattering

6 thoughts on “NY Times Article: Destination: Wellness – Not so Flattering

  1. Judith Wendell

    Thank you Susie…I ‘crown’ you the spa industry’s greatest cheerleader! I saw the article and as I described it to Neil Jacobs, it made the industry sound somewhere between ‘alternative weird and self serving.’ Happy New Year…I too predict it to be a great one! all my best, Judith

  2. Lou

    Hi —

    I saw your post and read the NY Times article. Wanted to let you know that I routinely pass along the Spa Evident URL to colleagues (and prospects). Thought the tone of your reply was on the mark …


  3. Bernard Burt Post author

    coming on the heels of The Economist article bashing spas, the NYT piece is even more muddled. Sending a novice reporter to Rancho La Puerta for a 2-day sampling is not the way to experience a wellness retreat. Nor does he know the difference between a destination spa and a resort spa.

    But this is just another example of media stupidity.

    Hopefully, your response will push industry leaders to develop educational programs for editors.

    When the editors at Random House invited me to discuss my book proposal (way back in 1985), they surprised me by saying “spa” would not be in the title.
    Why? Focus group studies in Manhattan had convinced these media mavens that spa was a turnoff for their target buyer. This was to be a guidebook for Yuppies!

    First published as Fodor’s Health & Fitness Vacations, it barely sold enough copies to justify a second edition. Jeffrey Joseph recognized the image problen, and invited me to be the only journalist at SpaFinder’s retreat held at New Age, leading to birth of ISPA.

    To this day, the industry has not honored our commitment to educate the public and news media. We have an opportunity March 19th at the National Press Club. Thanks for support; Hope to see you there.

    Best wishes for a happy and healthy year,

    Bernard Burt

    PS: The second edition of my Fodor book had spa in the subtitle. And my new title – Fodor’s Healthy Escapes – was an instant success.

  4. Susie Ellis Post author

    Thanks Bernie for contributing your thoughts which I will share via my blog. I do agree that there is still a perception problem out there, however I do think we are making progress. It certainly helps reinforce the need for us all to be working together with an industry voice that champions the great parts of what we do.

    Fortunately no one writer will have the last say…it will be the consumer and they are speaking quite loudly. They like spas, the word “spa” and are saying so with their dollars. In the end, that’s what wins.

    I guess we should be flattered that there is a bit of “bashing” going on…decades ago, that wouldn’t have resonated. Perhaps it is somewhat like those late night shows that make fun of everything popular. If you are on the list…at least you are “in” even though they are poking fun.

  5. Samantha Foster

    Dear Susie,

    Thanks so much for passing the artlcle on – it was timely and strangely inspiring. My New Year’s resolution is to continue/accelerate initiatives that promote the industry so we can make millions of people genuinely happier and healthier. Thank you for all that you do – I’m so grateful to have you as a role model. I look forward to interacting with you as the new Wellness Alliance gets off the ground, and contributing as much as possible to GSWS.

    Warmest regards,

  6. Susie Ellis

    It really does speak to the need for all of us as an industry to work together and glad there are people all over the world who are passionate and engaged. I always look to you as the champion of the whole Asia region as you have certainly made a huge difference there. Together with all the others who are as passionate as we are, I do think that the needle is moving. One of the reasons we decided on the theme of “A Defining Moment” for the India Summit, is because we really do see the tide turning and sense that our time together in Jaipur will make that the case for our industry, our businesses and each of us personally.

    Wishing you all the best for 2013!


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